Ex-Army major thrilled to gain Ballina council?s top office

By DAWN COHEN

JOHN CHRISTOPHERSON was driving home to Caloundra with his wife Nicola after an intensive interview in Ballina, when mayor, Phil Silver called with the news.

The former army major had just won Ballina's top job as general manager, worth around $170,000 a year.

"I was very excited," the 43-year-old said

"When you are trying for something you really want, and have wanted for a long time, you are always anxious."

Mr Christopherson's appointment was formally announced by Ballina Shire Council yesterday.

With a masters in both engineering and business administration, the Singaporeborn Australian comes well qualified.

A stint with the United Nations, sandwiched between a decade in the army and a decade in private enterprise, should prepare him for the rigours of Ballina.

With a father in the Australian army, followed by his own military career, Mr Christopherson has lived all over the country.

"But throughout my childhood we spent holidays in Kingscliff, travelling through Ballina," he said.

For the last three years he has been the regional manager for Newlands Contractors on the Sunshine coast. He developed a passion for working with councils and the community while involved in the dredging of a local lake.

"I have been wanting to work with communities and with council since I joined the army," he said.

Nicola, currently a researcher with Queensland Transport, will be looking for new work when the couple arrive in May, bringing with them their six-monthold golden retriever, Otto.



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